it’s been a while since i’ve played a pinball video game, so i decided to tackle kirby’s pinball land for the original game boy. the game was actually the first of many kirby spin-offs, and as with the original game boy title he appears white in the box’s artwork instead of his now-familiar pink.
the game’s setup is highly reminescent of revenge of the ‘gator, also by HAL and for game boy which preceded it by four years. like that game, in kirby’s pinball land each board is made up of three main screens and includes bonus stages. kirby’s pinball land adds boss battles into the mix, as well as three different boards and a final boss battle (against king dedede, naturally). although each screen of each board has very similar objectives (generally, hit an object a certain number of times), it’s fun to play through them all to find out how each piece of the board operates. for example, in one screen hitting the on-screen kirby on the left will make it spit out an object, while hitting the kirby on the right will make it inhale it. and in another screen you have to hit a cloud three times which will cause it to rain on the on-screen kirby, who will then pull out an umbrella; landing the pinball on the umbrella will push it up to the next part of the stage.
the review at nintendolife complained about the boards being cramped since they’re focused on being made up of single screens as opposed to having continuity between them, but i didn’t find this to be a drawback at all. that reviewer strongly favored the breakout-style game kirby’s block ball instead, whereas i have the complete opposite opinion, which is that kirby’s pinball land is fast-paced and fairly enjoyable, whereas kirby’s block ball is slow and tedious. once i’d seen all the different parts of the stages and beaten all the bosses i didn’t bother trying to master the game enough to beat the final boss, but i enjoyed my time with the game. the game controls well and makes good use of the kirby trappings, and it was fun to see all the familiar enemies. not a particularly surprising game, but casual without being completely mindless like the majority of the main kirby series, and so one of the more enjoyable kirby games i’ve played.
smooth landing for these kirby’s pinball land links:
– as usual, kirbysrainbowresort.net provide all the info you might need, including a handful of codes and the text of the instruction book, which has gems such as “It is every Kirby’s dream to play soccer with a squid.”
– entry at kirby.wikia.com
– entry at nintendo.com
– entry at wikipedia